Financial Close of Québec Government's Autoroute 25 Project

On September 24, the Québec Government announced the financial closing of the project for the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of the completion of Autoroute 25 in the Montréal Metropolitan Area.

The Autoroute 25 project involves the completion of a 7.2 kilometres stretch of toll highway linking the east end of Montréal to Laval. The project's main components include a cable stayed bridge (with three lanes in each direction) spanning 1.2 kilometres over the Rivière des Prairies, as well as a dedicated public transit lane and a multifunctional path.

Project value is estimated at around $500 million and, according to the Minister for Transport, represents a current value of $226 million in savings over 35 years compared to the conventional approach, with providing citizens access to the new infrastructure two years earlier than planned originally. The transaction constitutes the first public-private partnership to close in the Province of Québec and the highway, once commissioned, will be the first toll highway to be operated in the Province of Québec in nearly 20 years.

After a process involving a request for qualification followed by a request for proposals to three qualified international candidates, an agreement was entered into between the Québec Minister for Transport and Concession A25, S.E.C., a partnership controlled by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners.

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP acted as legal advisor to Transports Québec and the Agence des Partenariats Public-Privé du Québec with a team co-led by Daniel Picotte and Jean Masson with the heavy lifting being done by Andrew Ford and Lévy Bazinet to produce the Partnership Agreement and take the project to financial close. They were ably assisted by Jean-Philippe Gagné, Angela Onesi (financing), Gilles Carli, Jean-François Perreault, Étienne Gadbois (tax), Karl Delwaide (public law), Charles Kazaz (environmental), Marc-André LeChasseur (real estate), in Montréal; Tom Barlow and David Doubilet (corporate) in Toronto; and Helmut Johannsen, David Little and Paul Wilson (corporate) in Vancouver.

Concession A25 was represented by Stikeman Elliott LLP with a team that included Erik Richer La Flèche, Maxime Turcotte, Christopher Dye and Juan Bulnes Concha (corporate), Sterling Dietze, Ma Ry Tran, Peter Hamilton and Michael Allen (financing), Jean Carrier and Myriam Fortin (environment), Luc Bernier, Michel Legendre and Glenn Cranker (tax), and Marc Laurin and Patrick Girard (administrative laws and arbitration). Macquarie Infrastructure Partners was represented by Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP with a team that included Myron Dzulynsky, Alan James and Robert Blackstein (corporate), Lilly Wong (banking), and Tim Wach and Vince Imerti (tax).

The lenders to Concession A25 were represented by Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP with a team led by Alain Massicotte and which included Sophie Kaine Roy and Clémentine Sallée (infrastructure/corporate), Yannick Beaudoin, Anne Stewart, Corinne Lemire and Ian Binnie (banking/security), and Jeffrey Trossman, Jean Gagnon and Paul Stepak (tax).